Eliminating Cholera in Haiti Should Be ‘Top Priority’ for U.S. Western Hemispheric Policy, Writes Partners In Health; Starts Petition to Call on Ambassador Power to Act
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Marvin, Media Relations Manager
BOSTON (August 29, 2016)—Partners In Health continued its call for U.N. funding to end the scourge of cholera in Haiti with a letter to Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and a petition calling on her to act. In the letter, Partners In Health CEO Dr. Gary Gottlieb wrote:
“The worst ongoing cholera epidemic in the world has killed nearly 10,000 people in Haiti since October 2010, and it shows no sign of stopping. Now that the United Nations has acknowledged its role in bringing cholera to Haiti, it is time for the U.N. to act. …
“We respectfully request the United States Mission to the U.N. to press that body to take responsibility for the cholera epidemic by funding a comprehensive plan to eliminate this devastating scourge.
“Elimination of cholera in Haiti should be a top priority for U.S. Western Hemispheric policy. Allowing the epidemic to proceed unchecked is setting back other important U.S. humanitarian and development goals in the Caribbean Basin.”
Partners In Health has been at the forefront of organizations calling on the U.N. to help solve a crisis that it played a role in starting in 2010. In 2012, Partners In Health, working with its colleagues in Haiti, developed a pragmatic plan that includes treating those who are ill, widespread vaccination, water and sanitation system improvements and hygiene education. Those measures were proven effective on a small scale, but funding for a nationwide effort has been lacking.
“If the U.N. follows words with financing, it will be taking very strong steps toward making amends to a country whose people it has harmed. We call on it to do just that,” wrote Dr. Louise Ivers, senior health and policy advisor and an infectious disease expert at Partners In Health, who leads the organization’s cholera treatment and prevention activities, in a letter to The Washington Post.
Partners In Health is an international medical organization that helps build and sustain public health systems in poor and underserved communities around the world. Launched in Haiti in 1987, Partners In Health today reaches 7 million people around the world and employs 18,000 people, including 15,000 local community health workers. Learn more about our work at www.pih.org. Support our efforts at donate.pih.org/give-today.
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